Friday, May 2, 2014

Surviving the gusts

Week 3. Stfyc Friday night series. 
5 races in up and down gusty city front conditions. Gusts up to 25k & 5k holes on the starting line. Rigged 10 avanti,167 starboard & 64 Kashy. 
Good speed, acceleration & board handling around the course. In SF, it's all about surviving the gusts. On the Friday night course, it's all about board handling & calling the laylines. 

Race 1-course A.  Off the line well with Tom on my hip. He rounded just ahead at Anita and gybed first to get back to the breeze. 10.0 really trucking & good control in building ebb.  I finally caught up on the long port tack run to X & called the layline while Tom went down in the chop.  Bullet 1. 
Race 2. Good start but had Crad in my windward hip and had to duck below him with 64 fin in light start. By the end of the 2 min. beat and building breeze, I made it back up and tacked to cross on starboard and took the lead at Anita & never looked back. Bullet 2
Race 3 - great acceleration off the line and holding angle well in breeze & chop.  Spastic gusts along city front w/ SW breeze kicking in hard. It payed win B and be the inside board getting lift off the shore. 3 gybes down wind for course E before I went down hard on the last upwind & blew the lead. I saw the gusts & went to pull in my outhaul before I got lifted out if the water & slammed down hard. Slow recovery for 5th place out of 7 or 8. 
Race 4. Bumped booms up for more leverage as breeze was lighter on inside. 10-15 at start. Good start at b & called the layline early in ebb tide. 1st to round & quick gybe to get back outside to breeze for course C. C is a bit off a slalom course with 3 quick gybes & board handling skills put at a premium. 64 fin pays dividends in these conditions. The avanti rig gybes effortlessly. It's all about knowing your kit & maximizing the positives & minimizing the negatives. Stayed clear ahead for bullet 3. 

Race 5. Lighter on the inside while big puffs still on the outside. I started a bit down the line in a crowded start with everyone pushing. Slow acceleration as I had sailed pulled flat. I finally found my lane as the breeze built near the top mark. Again 1st to tack for layline in ebb with Al chasing hard just behind. Gybes were a bit conservative barring disaster- just trying to keep it together. I stayed in front and called the rest if the laylines for the finally bullet. 
Great lead up to this weekends Elvestrom/Zellwrbach regatta.  Hope to carry the momentum forward. 

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